Franco Klein will appear in the forthcoming 2015 Masculine Calendar, which is planned for release in the late Summer of 2014. What do you think of Franco? You can see tons more of Franco at www.masculineplatinum.com
Franco Klein will appear in the forthcoming 2015 Masculine Calendar, which is planned for release in the late Summer of 2014. What do you think of Franco? You can see tons more of Franco at www.masculineplatinum.com
DREAMING BIG... DYLAN VANSTEENBERG
by Peter Renault
"The total package!" You hear that expression bandied about so much these days that it's lost its impact. But up-and-coming fitness model, Dylan VanSteenberg, puts a new twist on that tired catchphrase. Looks, brains, brawn and charm -- he's got them all in spades. A strapping 5' 10", 185 pounds of muscle, with imposing 18-inch guns, Dylan exudes self-confidence and sex appeal, but without any of the grating cockiness of some of his better-known contemporaries. His allure is more subtle, subdued, even somewhat elusive. Maybe it's those mercurial hazel eyes that mirror the colors and light around him in a kaleidoscope of alternating hues. "I've been told I have weird eyes," Dylan says with a laugh. "My girlfriend calls them chameleon eyes. I guess they change a lot."
Dylan better get used to change these days. Big changes. Even though he is a fresh face in the world of modeling, he's already got three shoots under his belt including a recent shoot in Los Angeles for a celebrity book project, in which he was paired with fitness model phenom Jeff Seid. He was scouted by a photographer in Minneapolis at a recent physique competition. A quick shoot was lined up, but the scout realized that Dylan had exceptional potential so he hooked him up with seasoned photographer Michael Anthony Downs, based out of Florida. "I'd never done any modeling before," Dylan admits, with a laugh. "The last pictures taken of me were for my senior prom. I always thought it would be cool. Who wouldn't want to give it a try?" But Dylan quickly learned that modeling is more than just smiling for the camera. It requires intense dieting, focus, long hours -- and very often travel. "I always knew I was… well…, a good-looking guy, I guess," he says with typical humility. "But never in a million years did I think I'd be doing what I'm doing now."
The attention he's garnering is playing well back home in Sioux Falls. "There are a lot of guys there getting into bodybuilding," he says. "But I don't know any other male models in the area." So far the reaction from friends and family has been very positive. "It's cool. I'm living my dreams. No negatives. Maybe a few chuckles." The key is to keep it all in perspective -- not let it get to your head. "I'm basically just a nice guy," he says. "People are all the same. We're all just here to be happy, to get where we're trying to go. Just living life. I'm no better than the next person."
Currently studying nursing at South Dakota State University, Dylan has lived in the area his whole life. Before his recent shoot in Florida, the furthest he'd ever been from home, he says, was Minneapolis. Suddenly he found himself on the white sandy beaches of Florida's golden Gulf Coast: Sarasota and Tampa Bay. "It was a whole new level for me," Dylan says. "I'd never even been to a real natural beach or the ocean before."
Was he nervous for his first professional shoot? "Nah. I look at it this way. I always give my best. It's all good. Just do what you can." Dylan proved his willingness to put it all out there when Downs suggested he pose in nothing more than a pair of briefs in the middle of a busy boulevard, holding a sign next to his chiseled eight-pack stating: "Will Work for Food." It's a classic, off-the-cuff Downs capture, provocative and edgy. Dylan nailed it without any trouble, although "stopping traffic" and "rubber necking" hardly suffice as phrases for the stunned reactions of the drivers passing by in their cars during rush-hour.
Pushing the envelope is no sweat for Dylan, who competed as a wrestler for years. Fitness is his lifestyle. "I've been training since I was a kid," he says. "My Dad was a high school wrestling and football coach. So I picked it up early. I've been doing push-ups and sit-ups since kindergarten!" At twelve, he lifted his first weights. "I was small when I was young, but by the time I was fourteen I was training seriously." He quickly put on muscle and ballooned in size. A slight 103 pounds in seventh grade, Dylan had to drink water to make weight in his wrestling meets. By senior year he was a heavyweight, tipping the scale at 220. Wrestling appealed to him because it's a personal challenge. "There's no one else to blame," Dylan says. It's an individual sport with a team behind you. But they can't help you out on the mat. I liked that. In football you can point the finger for a loss. But in wrestling, if I lost it was because of me."
While hitting the gym regularly to build mass, Dylan soon met a mentor who changed his life: NGA pro bodybuilder Austin Kjergaard. "I was blessed," Dylan recalls, impressed by the athlete's build and rigorous routine. "Austin was a few years older than me and I thought 'Holy Cow! I could be like him.' He had such a good work ethic. So when he asked me, 'Hey, do you want to work out with me?' I couldn't believe it. I was ready to go. In the end he was the biggest influence on me. I couldn't have done any of this without him."
Kjergaard has proved a role model outside the gym as well. "He taught me what hard work really is -- sacrifice," Dylan says. "His best advice was to always stay motivated. You can't look up to others, he told me. You can't be like anyone else. You must envision your own self. Don't compare. Be different. Sculpt it in your own way." But most of all, keep things in perspective. "You must stay humble," he says. "I am not one of those guys who brags a lot or posts pictures of himself all the time." But considering his growing circle of fans, Dylan admits that will have to change. "You have to market yourself. Maybe I will have to lose some of my humility."
With future shoots in Miami slated, perhaps that time has come. "I'm on cloud nine," Dylan says. "Don't even know what to think. I've never been to Miami." He laughs. "I've only seen Miami on TV." And since he recently was in Hollywood, the questions begs…what about acting? Can he see himself following in the footsteps of other bodybuilders who got into movies? "I am open-minded," Dylan says, choosing his words carefully. "Acting would be cool. But the sky is the limit."
NOTE: Dylan appears as Mr. April 2014.
Order your copy of the calendar here
You can also Visit and LIKE Dylan's fan page: http://www.facebook.com/vansteenberg21
In his early teens he photographed with the iconic Bruce Weber, for the coveted Hollister campaign. He is now returning to the world of modeling, but in a more "aesthetic" way.
Blake "The Steak" Mouyassar
by Peter Renault
It's rare that a new player enters the fitness world ready for primetime just as he's kicking off his career. But in just a few short months, 18-year-old newcomer Blake Mouyassar has exploded on the scene. His handsome dark looks, killer physique and obvious flair in front of the camera have catapulted him to a level of attention that takes some new faces years to attain. Paired opposite Canadian fitness sensation Justin DeRoy in high-profile photo shoots in Miami this summer with Michael Anthony Downs and Luis Rafael, Mouyassar held his own in the double spotlight and became good friends with DeRoy. At 5',10" and 182 pounds, Mouyassar currently has 17" arms, a 30" waist and 26" legs. He's holding his body fat at 6%. It all makes for an eye-catching debut.
Recently dubbed "Blake the Steak" by Justin DeRoy -- a tag that might stick due to his beefcake appeal -- Mouyassar is determined to take his newfound success to the next level. A Missouri native, Mouyassar already has a global following thanks to social media. Like many young models, he's utilized YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, and sites like Bodybuilding.com, to promote himself, gaining friends and fans from around the world. Perhaps it's his easy-going charm that sets him apart or his surprising lack of attitude. Mouyassar doesn't need to bowl over others with chest-thumping theatrics. His intense focus is what gains attention and respect. As he prepares for a medical education, Mouyassar intends to continue training and to make further inroads in the bodybuilding and modeling world. He clearly has no trouble juggling several interests at once and knows how to build on his success. Recently Masculine caught up with the rising star and dug a bit deeper into the Mouyassar mystique.
M: Blake, your physique is mighty impressive for someone so young. How did you first get into exercise and training?
BM: Thank you. I started exercising at age 12 when I joined the football team and played for three years, as well as basketball, wrestling and later lacrosse. I was strong and fast my whole life, but never had the anchor weight that I really wanted. With that in mind I decided to begin lifting weights and to make an effort to eat right in order to grow. That was the summer of my sophomore year in high school, going into my junior year, when I was 16 years old, and weighed 125 pounds. It all just escalated from that point.
M: 125 pounds? Amazing. Well, when you were younger who were your role models? On TV or in film or in everyday life?
BM: My biggest role model at a younger age was my cousin Justin Shea who began working out and I saw how much he grew, and decided I wanted to do the same. In the movie world, my biggest role models were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, the two guys who I thought could take anyone on because of their size and strength. I still admire these people to this day.
M: Do you see yourself more as a fitness model or as a bodybuilder? And how do you balance the two? Do you need to train differently for a photo shoot?
BM: I see myself more as a bodybuilder. I love that it is just me against myself when it comes to the work that has to be put in. I push myself as hard as I can everyday and with that my body grows and forms into a physique that is admired or wanted by some, and that is where the photo shoot aspect comes into play. It gives me a chance to properly show everyone how the hard work eventually pays off and gives people something to shoot towards. It is quite an easy balance as everything I do to prepare for a bodybuilding competition is what is necessary for a photo shoot. I keep everything the same, training wise, when it comes down to doing a shoot.
M: When you shot with Luis Rafael and Michael Downs you were paired with new AAG model Justin DeRoy. How did that come about and are you guys friends? What's he like to work with?
BM: Justin DeRoy and I met through a social media site called Instagram where we were both big into fitness and just getting our feet wet in this huge industry. I can't speak for Justin, but I feel he would agree that we both wanted to show our hard work to everyone and gather a bigger audience by working with two of the top fitness photographers around. Since both of us have the same interests and likes we got along great! It was just like being reunited with a friend when we met. Both of us are not shy when it comes down to business in the photo shoots so it was easy for both of us working together.
M: You mentioned Instagram. How has social media helped or hindered you in your development as a fitness model? I see you also have some really fun videos on YouTube.
BM: Social media helps me reach out to a bigger audience and gives me the chance to help and inspire more people, which at this point is what I really am setting out to do. It keeps people interested in the fitness aspect of life when they see a post or video by me. I hope that inspires them to make the decision to better their lives through fitness.
M: You seem to have it all. Dark good looks, smooth skin, great smile. What do you feel is unique about your own look? Makes you stand out from the pack? What is your best asset and why? Any weaknesses you'd like to improve?
BM: I do everything to the fullest, always giving my 100%. When I workout I give it my all. When I get up on stage, I am giving it my all, and when I am posing for the camera I am giving it my all. Maybe what sets me apart from everyone else is that I am always giving my 100%. When I train I envision myself as being stronger, faster, and bigger. With this comes the trait I have of never being satisfied, which has its positives and negatives. I will never see my body being exactly where I want it; so in my eyes, I can always be improving.
M: Okay. Your focus is truly admirable. But what do you for fun? Models are always keeping an eye on how they exercise, what they eat and how much their body fat is etc, but how do you personally unwind from all that, kick back and just enjoy life?
BM: Being as health-conscious as I am, I try to stick to activities that won't sacrifice my diet or health. I always put my diet first, but when I go out I enjoy seeing movies with friends and family. Nature intrigues me too, so hiking is something I really enjoy. Those are just a few things I do to unwind.
M: Got any special hobbies you'd like to share with us?
BM: Cooking is something I do as a special hobby. I enjoy finding different ways to prepare meals, creating new recipes that are healthy.
M: So you are now the cover boy for Masculine magazine. What does "masculinity" or "being masculine" mean to you personally in this day and age?
BM: For me, "masculine" means power. You are a leader, not a follower.
M: Cool. So what spurs you on to excel? To dedicate yourself to your goals?
BM: Bettering myself and creating the best possible Blake is what I imagine when I push myself each day.
M: People think of bodybuilders as having big egos, but you strike me as pretty down-to-earth. Still, you can't help getting attention. Any funny stories about people misreading you, or rubbing you the wrong way?
BM: Something that is funny is my muscles will always, and I mean always, get brought up into a conversation every day with friends, family, or people I have just met. My buddy Jake, whom I have known since I was young, will be around me sometimes when people are commenting about my muscles and he will always say, "He is a nice person too, you know." It's kind of like stating the fact that I have a personality and am not just the visual traits that most people only see.
M: Ha. That's pretty funny. Where do you see yourself going with modeling and fitness? Do you have a particular plan in mind for the future?
BM: I am going to college for the next 6-8 years of my life, as I plan to become a doctor since I am well-educated and can focus myself. But my life has forever changed to being a fitness freak. I want to take modeling and fitness as far as I can, but without it overwhelming my life and it becoming my life.
M: No doubt you will, Blake. You've got a good head on your shoulders as well as that awesome physique. Best of luck to you!
You can visit and like Blake's Facebook fan page: Blake Mouyassar Fitness
Interview with Kirill "Cheerio" Chayka
by Peter Renault
Born in the Ukraine 22 years ago, and standing at 5' 11", Kirill Chayka has one of the most striking looks in the modeling field. His stunning physique, chiseled features and riveting eyes have won him a flurry of attention from fans and the media in an incredibly fast amount of time. But it has not all gone to his head. He's focused entirely on his training, his career and his schooling. Growing up in South Carolina after moving to the States as a kid, Chayka started out small for his age and skinny, but he made up for it after high school by lifting weights and improving his size. Since launching himself on the fitness scene through social media, he has been sought-after by the top photographers in the business. At times it seemed as if everyone wanted a piece of him, but he has not let all the adulation and flattery go to his head. His story is one of perseverance and determination, but also one of setting boundaries, choosing goals, and always maintaining a sense of humor. Our interview with this up-and-coming sensation follows below.
Masculine Mag: You have one of the most impressive physiques in the fitness modeling scene. How long have you been working out?
Kirill Chayka: Thank you. I have been working out for four years now.
M: I read somewhere that you got into bodybuilding and exercise because you were picked on as a kid in PE class. Were you much smaller then? How did you overcome that?
KC: Actually I got into bodybuilding because I failed to make my university's soccer team. I just used the gym as something to take my mind off my failure. And I ate a lot in the school cafeteria before and after gym sessions. I had a fast metabolism and since I stopped playing soccer, all the food I ate went into building muscles since I was training at the gym two times a day. I did get picked on a lot in high school. I was very little and skinny. People pick on the weakest to feel superior, I guess. After graduating high school, I hit the gym, and I put on 20-30 pounds my freshman year.
M: What motivates you to persevere? To push the limits? Is it an intrinsic part of you? Or did you have to learn it?
KC: It is, I think, an intrinsic part of me. I was always competitive as a kid. I would want to win at everything that was presented in front of me, both physical and mental. Whether it be soccer, running the furthest, the fastest, doing the most push-ups, pull-ups, etc. I never wanted to be adequate, or just good enough. I wanted to be the best whenever I took up a challenge.
M: How old were you when you first came to the United States? And if you can recall, what was your reaction to it? Was it hard to adjust?
KC: I was 5 years old when I moved to the States. Can't really recall what my reaction was. But I adapt really fast and I learned to speak English fluently in five months. I also speak Russian.
M: Who were your role models growing up? Did you look up to any well-known figures?
KC: My role model when I was a kid was Batman. Haha. I liked how he achieved something from nothing. He doesn't have super powers like every other superhero. He worked at his skill and mastered it. I know that Batman is fictional, but if I can set my sights beyond what is real and what society thinks is attainable, then I can go beyond all limits and expectations of everyone. If not, then I will just be like everyone else. And like Arnold Schwarzenegger says: "The worst thing is to be like everyone else." Arnold was also a huge role model when I started lifting weights!
M: How did you first get into modeling? How were you discovered?
KC: Once I developed a muscular lean body, I put up a picture on the website Bodybuilding.com and from there it just sort of happened. I come from a very small town, so I don't think I would be where I am today if it weren't for social media.
M: You made quite a splash early on with your pictures by Luis Rafael and Rick Day. How did all that initial attention affect you? Did you enjoy being in the spotlight?
KC: At first it was good. Awesome. But then I got too many people and creepers on my social media accounts. I just needed a break, so I shut all my accounts down. I made new ones and I started fresh -- this time with a clear mind and better prepared for what is to come. I do enjoy being in the spotlight, since I worked hard enough to deserve it. :)
M: What advice would you offer others just coming onto the fitness modeling scene?
KC: Be yourself. Be original. And have fun.
M: What part of your body do you think is your best asset? And why?
KC: I would have to say my eyes, or so I have been told. My body could be built-up and slimmed down, but you can not change something that was given to you genetically. God made me how I am and I am happy with that. :)
M: Do you think Americans have a different attitude about men's bodies than Russians do? The emphasis today seems to be more on adding muscle mass rather than developing strong classic lines.
KC: I don't know. I prefer symmetry over being huge and muscular. Being lean, muscular and symmetrical is what "I" prefer.
M: How do you maintain your physique when not in full training mode? What are your toughest challenges to keep healthy and fit?
KC: I train all the time, all year-round since I started. There really is no off-season for me. I am always trying to better myself. The biggest challenge to staying fit and lean is the diet. It's more of a lifestyle than a diet, since diet is temporary and lifestyle is year- round. I don't have any trouble training year-round, I love it! The food choices is what comes harder to me since I love to eat good food. I have to control my cravings and overcome them by always thinking of my goals.
M: What do you do to relax? Your favorite hobbies? Secret passions?
KC: I watch my favorite TV shows, which are "MasterChef," "Hell's Kitchen" (I know, right!), and comedies. I actually love to cook. It is like a hobby, but also a lifestyle since food is a BIG part in a healthy lifestyle. As for secret passions -- I want to be an awesome cook! Haha. I also want to travel the world and be a part of all the different cultures.
M: What is there about Kirill Chayka that people don't expect and are surprised by when they finally meet you in person?
KC: What surprises people when they meet me in person is that I am very straightforward. I say what is on my mind. I don't BS things. Also that I am not as serious as I look. I am sarcastic.
M: Where do you see yourself five years from now?
KC: Who knows? I want it to be a surprise. :)
M: So how did you get the nickname Cheerio?
KC: I got it my freshman year in high school. People could not pronounce my first name well, and they thought it sounded like Cheerio. Plus I do love Cheerios cereal and eat it all the time! I just roll with it. It stuck, and I like it. Haha.
Changing Notions of Masculinity
by Peter Renault
Not so long ago a buddy and I went to see the classic Hitchcock thriller "Rear Window" at a revival movie house. There up on the screen, bigger than life, was the film's leading man, James Stewart, being massaged by his tough-as-nails maid. At one point Stewart, who is shirtless, flips over, revealing a scrawny chest and the hint of a spare tire around his waist. My friend poked me in the ribs and chuckled that Stewart should have hit the gym more often. But back in 1954 when the movie was released, few would have noticed Stewart's lack of a six-pack. He was a man's man, whom women mooned over, and guys looked up to, regardless of his build. Same with other stars of the era: John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, even James Dean. The exception was Marlon Brando, whose sweat-drenched, sinewy muscles gleaming under a slinky wife-beater left audiences drooling in "A Streetcar Named Desire."
Notions of what constitutes masculine beauty have constantly evolved over the centuries. The Greeks and Romans idealized the male figure. Body hair was out. Showing skin was in. The word "gymnasium," let's not forget, is from the Greek gymnasion meaning "school for naked exercise." Athletes flaunted their lithe physiques without shame, but the focus was on youth and agility more than muscle mass. In the Middle Ages, bulk triumphed since strength was vital for macho knights decked out in heavy metal. The Renaissance revived ancient standards, but male beauty was still a Platonic ideal, relegated to galleries and museums, not something the average Joe aspired to. Masculinity was a natural asset. You either had it or you didn't. Muscles were something poor people gained because they had to work hard for a living. The rich preferred having pale skin and soft shapes. In 19th-century England, Beau Brummels catered more to their dapper clothes than to their frames, although the popularity of boxing later on in Victorian circles encouraged the occasional manly physique.
For the population at large, however, exercise was still an exotic pastime, something to ogle, but not to emulate. Eugene Sandow, arguably the world's first professional fitness model, was treated as a kind of novelty act, appearing on stage and at fairs. Likewise Houdini who was as much a draw for his muscle tone as for his magic tricks. Hollywood had its share of hunks, most notably Johnny Weissmuller, who won gold in swimming at the Olympics, then starred in a dozen or more Tarzan films but could never land serious roles. So too Olympian Buster Crabbe who showed off his gold-winning swimmer's build to advantage as Flash Gordon. Later, Steve Reeves lorded over sword-and-sandal flicks as Hercules, but never made it big in regular films. It really wasn't until the late 20th-century that having a buff physique finally came into vogue in the mainstream. Now it's almost mandatory.
When did our attitudes change? One could argue it happened when Schwarzenegger, Stallone and Van Damme became enormous box-office stars. Gradually the focus in films shifted from meaty character roles to action-packed beefcake. A leading man today must appear toned to get the juicy parts and lure the crowds. Henry Cavill in the latest Superman picture looks amazing in his "Man of Steel" uniform, but it's almost superfluous. He's already superhuman looking, a far cry from the rather portly George Reeves of the early TV series. Then there's Daniel Craig as the "aesthetic" James Bond, rising from the surf like a demigod in a form-fitting speedo. He definitely upped the ante for secret agents and the like. Even Matt Damon, best known for the Bourne series, won praise recently in the Emmy-nominated Liberace biopic on HBO, "Behind the Candelabra," when he bared his buff torso and glutes for the camera.
The trickle-down effect of all this hyper-masculinity on film and in television is that the male population today is increasingly keen on having a killer bod, and prepared to work overtime and spend major bucks to achieve it. It's not enough anymore to "just be another pretty face." Male fitness is now big business. Men are spending upwards of $5 billion a year on grooming products. Billions more are spent on gyms and health clubs and exercise equipment. Factor in dough spent on vitamins, supplements, tanning salons, and spa treatments, as well as cosmetic surgery, and the numbers are simply staggering. Achieving a masculine look these days may be expensive, but it's become just another part of a man's standard of living.
It's no coincidence that when they cast "Disturbia," a hip retelling of "Rear Window," they didn't hire an average-looking guy in his mid-40s for the lead. They chose 20-something Shia LaBoeuf who may not have been everyone's idea of the stud next door, but who definitely did not have to worry about sporting a spare tire.
It's not very often a 100% vegan and all-natural athlete wins a bodybuilding contest. In a sport that is dominated by carnivores and often times steroids, it's hard for someone who is vegan to compete, yet alone win competitions. The following videos highlight Torre Washington and his recent Musclemania contest win. He's definitely an exception to the aformentioned typical "bodybuilding athlete". Torre is sponsored by Clean Machine, an all-natural fitness supplement line. Visit Torre's fan page.
by Caleb Calaraga and Spiro Johansen
Our prototype of a masculine cover man is someone with chiseled features , a handsome youthful face , clean-cut and groomed in the right places.
The Masculine cover guy exudes confidence and has an athletic presence that towers above just your normal average guy. His virility is unmistakable and he turns heads at every corner. The prototype of our Masculine cover man is in fact our very first cover man for this new series on Masculinemag.com. We introduce to you Ryan Taylor, a native of New York State. He's dabbled in the world of modeling , formerly working with a fashion agency in New York but then changing course to become more of a fitness model.
We know you are dying to get to know Ryan and so we're going to give you a chance to do just that. The interview with Ryan follows below along with a set of exclusive images and a video trailer with behind the scenes footage from Ryan's photo shoot for the Masculine series.
Ryan Taylor: The Interview
Masculine Mag (M): So Ryan, you’re slowly shifting from fashion to fitness, what made you want to change course?
Ryan Taylor (RT): I always felt I wasn’t into fashion. Yes I liked modeling but had this doubt in my mind if this is what I actually wanted to do. I always had a passion for working out so once my collegiate track career was over; I picked up a new habit. I worked out a little harder developing, focusing on my muscles more and more. Once I realized the potential I had I knew fashion wasn’t for me and my passion turned to fitness and fitness modeling.
M: What makes you unique as a male model? Where do you think your appeal is coming from?
RT: What makes me unique as a male model is my ability to attract the eyes of many different audiences. What I mean by this is I catch the attention of not only females but males as well, basically, anyone who looks at my photographs. My appeal comes from the qualities in my face (jaw, eyes, lips) that attract people along with my lean body. I tend to go for the dark, sexy, rugged look, which comes from my strong facial and body features.
M: What part of your body are you most proud of and why?
RT: I am most proud of my shoulders. Everywhere I go, I get comments on them especially in the gym so they are definitely my prized possession. I am very proud of them because not many people have big or nice shoulders. Guys often focus on biceps or triceps and forget about the beauty of round, broad shoulders.
M: Do you think you have what it takes to become a successful male model? Why?
RT: There is not a doubt in my mind that I can become a successful male model. I see these other male models and find the urge to do better, look better. I feel it comes from my work ethic and when my mind is set on a goal I strive to achieve it. Throughout my life I was never handed anything; I always had to work for what I wanted. So this is just another obstacle or stepping stone in my life proving people wrong but more importantly proving to myself I have what it takes.
M: Growing up, have you ever thought of being the hunky man that you are now? Tell us how you have become the handsome man that you are now.
RT: I never thought I would look like this or even this good. I have always been somewhat skinny with little muscle on my body from track workouts. Once my track career was over I had a void in my life that needed to be filled. I found myself working out with no specific goal in mind. I then realized I wanted to get bigger, while maintaining a lean body. I started researching bodybuilding workouts, routines, diets and even watching videos on how I could transform my body to become something no one else has. I tried many different plans and routines until I found out what worked best for my body and stuck with it. Within 6 month I gained 15lbs jumping from 175lbs to 190lbs where I currently maintain. I knew I accomplished something when people started commenting on my body but it wasn’t until the summer of 2012 where I had my first fitness photo-shoot that I knew all the hard work has paid off. Now I just look to maintain a lean physique with proper eating and workout routines so I can do what I was meant to do: inspire others and model.
M: When you say masculine, what comes to mind? Do you feel that being stylish, sexy or “metrosexual” goes against the grain of being a masculine man?
RT: Masculine to me is being manly or tough. I believe men have two thoughts, one is some men feel ‘metro’ is too girly and steps away from the tough, rugged look they use to intimidate people. On the other hand you have men who like to look masculine but are comfortable doing so in a fashionable manner - to look good or better than other people. I personally feel being stylish or sexy doesn’t go against the grain of being masculine but simply shows you are comfortable with your masculinity no matter what you wear.
M: What sets apart Ryan Taylor from every other male model out there? What makes you different, unique – sexier and better-looking than the rest?
RT: What sets me apart from other models is my personality and look as a male model. I may come off shy at first but once you break my shell I am outgoing, goofy and like to have a good time. Also, not many male models have my ‘look’, which makes me more unique than most male models. I strive for the strong, sexy presence when I model through my bold jaw line, baby blue eyes and great body. I believe my body and face are better than the rest because I focus a lot of symmetry and my overall look. I do not have one outstanding body part but rather many that work together to create this unique look. My uniqueness is that not only can I draw you in with a great body but I have this boldness about me that is not drop dead ‘gorgeous’, but more of a ‘take me home rough sex’ look that leaves you wanting more. This bold, dark, strong look is what makes me sexier than all the rest.
M: What do you think of when you see yourself in the mirror?
RT: I think about how far I have come. From being a nobody in a small town to finally seeing how hard work pays off through constant motivation and dedication. I also think about how I can make myself better. I always ask myself: “What can I do to separate me from other models even further?”
M: What’s your biggest fear and why?
RT: My biggest fear is not going anywhere in life. I do not want to be this person who does the same thing day in and day out until I die. I want to be a role model, change people’s lives, take risks, and have the opportunity to be something bigger than I ever imagined.
M: When not on the set modeling or en route to a casting call or go-see, what do you usually do?
RT: I usually spend my time with family, working out and personal training others. I am very family-oriented and without them I wouldn’t be here. I also love helping others achieve their fitness goals and giving them motivation to change their lives. It is a great feeling of success knowing you changed your life but a completely different feeling when you helped make a difference in another person’s life.
by Peter Renault
Staying on top in the male fitness model scene requires more than just killer looks and an eye-popping physique. A star in the field has to embody the standards of the sport as well as its surface attractions. Success demands discipline, determination and desire.
David Morin has mastered all of these challenges in a career that has lasted decades not just years. His perfectly chiseled features and shredded abs have graced the covers and pages of the leading fitness mags: Ironman, Exercise for Men, Muscle & Fitness, and Natural Muscle. He has figured prominently in high-profile industry ads, countless online blogs and magazine spreads. The biggest names in photography -- David Vance, Luis Rafael, Mark Jenkins, Kemuel Valdes, Jason Ellis and Michael Anthony Downs -- have sought him out to enrich their portfolios. Starting out as a pro skateboarder at 17, David Morin was spotted by the Outlook brand. Later he was the face of Yahoo Personals, did a stint on a VH1 reality show, appeared in Vitamin Shoppe ads and promoted Dymatize Nutrition. He has teamed up with fitness icons Greg Plitt and David Kimmerle in photo shoots and videos.
But success has not been a simple cakewalk for David Morin. There have been highs as well as lows in his quest for the spotlight. Born in Germany in the mid-70s, where his father was serving in the USAF, David is a mix of English, Native-American, French and German roots. From an early age, he was drawn to martial arts, which provided him with core principles that shaped his mindset, keeping him intensely focused, his eye always on the prize.
As a young married adult, fresh out of school and living in Virginia, Morin grappled with the demands of being a parent with two small boys. There were bills to be paid and family issues at home. "I was consumed and overwhelmed," he has stated in interviews. That early marriage ended in a "painful divorce," a blow to his self-esteem that left him feeling like a failure. But instead of harping on the negative, he channeled his energy and frustrations into working out religiously at the gym. "Training is a metaphor for life," he says. "Weights don't exist." They are just the necessary resistance that makes us strong.
In time Morin moved to South Florida to devote himself full-time to modeling and training, and continued to land magazine covers and media exposure. In 2011, he beat out some particularly fierce competition to win the first Masculine Magazine Model contest, and was flown to Jamaica for an exclusive shoot with Luis Rafael and Michael Anthony Downs. The breathtaking results proved hands-down that David Morin has a uniquely powerful presence in front of the camera and a timeless virile allure. He epitomizes a type of manly appeal that is natural and unaffected, without the need for theatrics, but still packs a punch. Perhaps his proudest achievement, however, is becoming a father again, this time to twin daughters.
"You are the maker of your own destiny," Morin says. He has faced more than his share of hurdles, some of his own making. "You acquire some baggage," he has admitted. "We all make mistakes, have shortcomings, trauma. But don't block this out!" Instead, he recommends recycling past experience to build a better future. Missteps become the "fuel," he says, for turning things around through a kind of spiritual alchemy, transforming painful lessons into personal progress. In such moments, Morin has been inspired by the wisdom he picked up from his years studying martial arts. "A warrior does not give up what they love," he says. "They find the love in what they do."
What is most striking about David Morin's compelling story is his staying power. A Libra, he's in his late 30s, and yet he looks and acts like a much younger man. This is a testament to his passion for a strict healthy diet and lifestyle, but perhaps even more-so to his winning attitude. He takes modeling and training very seriously, but knows how to kick back. He lightens the load, he says, by playing guitar, singing, and acting, and hanging with friends. He also relaxes by kayaking, hiking, motorbiking, swimming, surfing and yoga.
For David Morin, life is about finding an inner balance between family and career, love and ambition. The road may seem long and difficult at times, but that is what makes it worthwhile. In life, as in training, he adds, "Resistance is required so your persistence can be admired."
by Spiro Johansen
We think that the "über corporate" world might have something to do with it-- the whole idea of men having to completely shave their genital pubes, and how that is somehow considered a proper grooming habit.
We see numerous mainstream articles encouraging men to shave their pubes "down there", referring to them as "dirty love nests"; even some referencing back to the days of Michelangelo and his works of art that exulted the "perfect man"... that sported no pubes. We think this idea is silly and down right ridiculous.
Madonna's former beau, Jesus Luz sporting pubes
Photography by MIKAEL JANNSON for Interview Magazine
The phenomenon of men shaving their pubes probably has more to do with fads and trends more than anything. But in reality, men are unwittingly demasculinizing themselves in order to please their sometimes overbearing female counterparts-- not to mention, creating at times awkward looking visuals. For example, we've seen cases of guys with happy trails that lead to nowhere, and men completely hairy everywhere and then, nothing there--- bizarre!
So while it may be encouraged by the über corporates looking to make millions and billions off of hair shaving products; and while a growing majority of females find it to be clean and attractive on their men... we strongly behoove those men (those blind sheep that follow every ridiculous trend that pops up) to reconsider going to war on their hair, down there.
Public service announcement: Repeated shaving of pubic hair in the genital area causes irritation and small microscopic wounds that can lead to potentially serious infections-- perhaps a good reason and incentive to keep it au' natural. Of course you would want to keep it trimmed and landscaped-- that goes without saying.
A few sentences ago we mentioned the word über corporate so we figured we might as well expand on that a little bit. What exactly is über corporate? in a nutshell, it refers to companies that are so enormous and so extremely powerful that they can leverage and in most cases control an entire society's mindset regarding the use of a particular product or service -- such as shaving cream and razors and such things. We are not really anticorporate but surely we cannot be ignorant to the idea that brands like Gillette or Bic benefit tremendously from the propaganda being spread that completely shaving genital pubes is a good thing.
In our final analysis, having pubic hair is not only natural, it is also healthy and a beautiful thing to look at on your male partner. Having no hair down there is for babies, period.
This summer there are plenty of good movie flicks for the big screen fanatics. We're going to give you our top 5 most recommended "Masculine" flicks worth watching, as of this writing. These are movies that pack a punch, don't flitter around with melodramatic storielines and often take you for a ride from almost the get-go. So here is our list, in no particular order:
World War Z: If you like zombies, this is a movie you will love. It puts a different spin on the popular horror genre. Brad Pitt keeps you on the edge of your toes as he dodges, runs, jumps, fights and does everything in his power to not only save the world but his beloved family from a "zombie" virus that is quickly spreading across the planet. It's frights, suspense, bullets, zombies and strikingly innovative and realistic CGI all done in a forboding manner. You might even have nightmares when you sleep!
Fast and Furious 6: Lots of crazy stunts, manly comedy and sometimes over the top action scenes-- but all in good fun. It's rivalry and brotherhood mixed with high speed chases and lots of cool scenery, as the movie was filmed in many different exotic locations around the world. Sequels are never as good as the original movies they follow up to, but this one is certainly an entertaining and thrilling 2 hours of speed.
Iron Man 3: Robert Downey Jr. plays this role extremely well. As powerful as his Iron-Man suit is, in this sequel, the superhero takes a beating -- you have to feel for Tony Stark, who gets pummeled almost at every turn as he fights the evil villain Aldrich Killian and his hechmen. It's all of the high-flying action packed sequences, surprise plots and comedic segways that we've come to expect from the Marvel action films of today. Can't miss this one.
Kon Tiki: In 1947 explorer Thor Heyerdal crosses over 4,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean in a small wooden raft to prove that Peruvians could have settled Polynesia. It's an epic journey for Heyerdal and the viewer feels it, as the movie is intense, dramatic, captivating and full of real adventure.
Man of Steele: This latest reboot of Superman is spectacular in terms of production values. It gives you just enough mushy stuff not to bore you, and plenty of intensity and raw bravado everywhere. The costumes and settings are surreal and the overal visual effect will leave you mesmerized. And the story line is a good one. If DC/Warner Brothers keep this up, Justice League will certainly be a very masculine and intense film-- if it should ever be released.